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322                           LETTERS   FROM   THE

We proceeded to the extensive plain of Taca«
•rique, planted with canes, and dined at Mr. NihePs,
an airy situation on the first rise of the mountain.
We sat down thirty to table. As I had engaged
a bed some miles further at a gentleman's planta-
tion, in order to be better accommodated and to
ease my horse for the next day, I quitted the
company with my Sancho, and rode a couple of
hours in the dark.

The proprietor had given me as a direction
the new English name of Springfield, a language
which no one understands in that part of the
island; so all my enquiries of the negroes I met
amounted to an assurance that there was no such
place. I began to think I was to pass the night
in the wilderness, which is not quite so wholesome
as it is in La Mancha, when I luckily recollected
someone had told me this longed-for abode was
beyond the river Arouca on the right. I then
remembered to have seen a path leading that way
soon after I had crossed the water, so I ventured
into it, and soon came to a light, a negro line
of houses, and a mansion where several people
were moving about, and they came to meet

I inquired if this was Springfield. " Ah, no! "
nor had they ever heard of such a place. "Let